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Four Nebraska Nursing Facilities Announce Closures

NEBRASKA — Residents of four Nebraska skilled nursing centers are starting the search for new homes today after Azria Health announced the closure of the facilities.

A news release from the Nebraska Health Care Association says Morys Haven in Columbus, Blue Hill Care Center in Blue Hill, Crestview Care Center in Milford and Utica Community Care Center in Utica are all closing.  The facilities will close on November 21.

The news release says the four facilities were part of a portfolio acquired by Azria Health last week.  It cites the facilities’ poor financial performance as the reason for the closures.

The Nebraska Health Care Association says the four facilities employ about 240 workers and feature 205 state-licensed beds.

Officials with Azria Health did not immediately respond to a phone call and email sent by News Channel Nebraska.  They did issue a statement in the news release.

“Unfortunately, Nebraska’s fiscal landscape doesn’t make it viable for many long-term care facilities to continue providing the high-quality care residents deserve. In this case, we had to make the incredibly difficult decision to close four buildings so that others are able to successfully stay open,” said Carrie Ramaekers, Regional Director of Operations for Azria Health. “Azria Health is committed to investing in the remaining buildings, staff, and those we serve in order to ensure long-term viability.”

President and CEO of the Nebraska Health Care Association Heath Boddy says the closures continue a concerning trend.

“Fifteen nursing facilities have already closed in our state this year,” Boddy said. “The amount that long-term care providers receive from Nebraska Medicaid is approximately $30 per person per day less than the average cost of providing care to Nebraskans who need it – a model that no business can sustain. I was pleased to learn that Azria Health would be operating more buildings in Nebraska because of my experience with the company and its team members in their current operations. They’ve shown they’re interested in improving quality and reinvesting in operations.”

The news release says Azria Health notified employees, residents and their family members of the closures today.  The company says it is working with employees to “explore employment opportunities.”

News Channel Nebraska reached out to Morys Haven in Columbus.  An official with the facility declined to comment.